Skip to main content

Reply to this post | Go Back
View Post [edit]

Poster: sukkel Date: Jan 18, 2005 12:03am
Forum: movies Subject: Fair Use, Public Domain and Prelinger Archives?

About a week ago I started working on a little project to create a test CD that I might use for testing playback compatibility of DVD-player and multi media PC's using all sorts of file formats for moving images, audio, still images etc.

As I want to be as free as possible in deciding what to do with the finished test set (such as maybe distribution as a gift CD with a commercially available magazine or hosting of ISO-images on sites that use advertvertisements to cover bandwith cost etc. it is important to me that there are no restrictions on usage of any of the sound/video samples that I use for this.

After downloading and viewing the "Knowledge held hostage" seminars I found on the archive I decided to forget about "Fair Use" of modern hi quality video samples from a DVD (such as a 1 minute sample overlayed with transparent text "720x576 sample" or such). I'm not a lawyer and it's giving me a headache of sorts to having to deal with the issue of legallity of usage. So what remains is Public Domain or maybe CCD "Attribute". Even the CCD "Attribute-ShareAlike" might be problematic for this use if I understand the full license text correctly.

So, of course I was sort of happy and excited to find the Prelinger Archives with all titles listed as "Public Domain" and started browsing (as searching functionality seems troublesome at this point) the archive for samples that have the technical/content qualities I need. This has been very time consuming but at least I found some more or less usable short video clips.

A few days later I stumble on these usage limitations for the Prelinger Archives in the Internet Archive's FAQ:
[quote]
* You may not sell or sell access to the data files on this site, in whole or in part. You may give or transfer them to any other person or company, but the gift or transfer must be free of charge.
* You may not convert these files into other online distribution formats, except for open-source MPEG-4 formats.
- Please contact Prelinger Archives if you wish us to consider other alternatives.
[end quote]

That sort of scraps my searching efforts of the past week (and my hope of finding _anything_ I would actually be allowed to use for that matter).

Now don't get me wrong - I'm endlessly grateful for the awesome work that both the good people at the Prelinger Archives and the Internet Archive are doing in preserving our "cultural" herritage and making it available - regardless of usage limitations. It's just that I'm now totally confused about the meaning of the term "Public Domain" (which I always understood to mean something along the lines of "do as you please").

As a result I'm beginning to think that it is impossible to find any audio/video materials that I might recycle for the harmless use of testing codecs etc without running a risk of either having my fair usage "rights" smuthered by some big company legal department's rath (I'm not about to take the warner bros / disney's of this world to trial about it even if I would have a right to use short clips) or otherwise frustrating good people such as Prelinger which I wouldn't want to do out of appreciation for their work (I contacted Prelineger through email some days ago, but they didn't react yet and I would like to get on with my work).

So - the question is: What sort of materials could I (legally/morally) use for the purpose listed above (short of hiring video/audio equipment and creating some myself).

Any hints/tips/links/insights would be more than welcome - thank you in advance!

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: akb Date: Jan 18, 2005 2:35am
Forum: movies Subject: Re: Fair Use, Public Domain and Prelinger Archives?

I believe that the FAQ is outdated. Those were the initial conditions but Rick said that the films are now truly PD.

However, I just went and checked and the licenses in the item descriptions still indicate the initial non-PD license. Hopefully, Rick or the Archive staff can clarify.

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: brewster Date: Jan 18, 2005 4:40am
Forum: movies Subject: Re: Fair Use, Public Domain and Prelinger Archives?

This is Rick writing from brewster's account. The films are indeed licensed with a Creative Commons PD license, and the FAQ is outdated. People should be fixing this old FAQ one of these days real soon now. (Sorry I didn't answer earlier, just got back from long trip).

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: sukkel Date: Jan 18, 2005 4:51am
Forum: movies Subject: Re: Fair Use, Public Domain and Prelinger Archives?

Thanks for the clarifications - a big relief that I can now at least continue working with the materials from the archive that I've found up to now.

@Rick: That also takes care of the personal e-mail I sent you earlier about this (in case you run into it while catching up on your mail)
Thanks again for al the work in gathering and maintaining the archive!!

Cheers